Warri – As Nigeria prepares for another round of elections come 2023, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo has charged media practitioners in Nigeria to effectively play their role of agenda setting.

The Commissioner gave the charge during the 2021 Niger Delta Annual Media Dinner/Award Ceremony organized by the Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper which held at the Bon Hotel Delta in Warri, Delta State.

While admonishing the journalists, Fanwo urged them to always ensure that they report not only the good stories about the Niger Delta, but Nigeria as a whole.

“It is also important to expose areas where we have development gaps ,so that the relevant authorities will be able to see what they should do.

“As we approach 2023, it is going to be a very tough contest, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether APC, APGA or PDP or any other party that wins, but the most important thing is that, in the end, Nigeria must win.

“For Nigeria to win , the media must play her role of agenda setting; what do you want to achieve as a nation ? Who are the people that fit into the criteria for us to be able to achieve this? Are we safe as a nation? Who can make us safe.?

“These are the things the media will be expected to project as we approach 2023,; the media must drive the recruitment process as we approach 2023.” He enthused.

He said , it is also important for the media to preach peace not only in the Niger Delta, but in Nigeria as a whole adding that, the stories heard about Niger Delta is not the reality on ground saying Niger Delta is largely, largely very peaceful.

“The media must ensure we tell the story about Niger Delta in positive light, let it not be about the crisis alone, let it not be about bunkering, let it no be about hostilities, let it be about business opportunities in the Niger Delta and peace that abound in the region so that when the rest of Nigeria is aware of this, they will be able to move their businesses here, and earn a livelihood and the Niger Delta will be better for it”, Famwo said.

Earlier in his address, Governor of Kogi State , Yaya Bello represented by the Deputy Speaker, Kogi House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Mohammed, , lauded the Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper for putting together the ceremony and reiterated his support for the media not only in the Niger Delta but Nigeria at large.

Other dignitaries included Governor of Delta State,Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa represented by one of his media aides, Austin Ozobo as well as the Deputy Governor, Barr.Otuaro Kingsley who was also represented by Arex Akemotubo.

Awards of excellence were also presented to some deserving journalists for their contributions to journalism in Nigeria and the Niger Delta in particular. Some of the award recipients included Ebenezer Adurokiya ,Delta Bureau Chief of the Nigerian Tribune; Egufe Yafugbori Acting Regional Editor (Rivers); Emmanuel Amaize, Regional Editor , Jimitota Onoyume Ass. Editor all of the Vanguard Newspaper.

A media workshop which saw over fifty journalists drawn from electronic, print and online media across the Niger Delta states had earlier taken place with the media practitioners brainstorming on diverse topics as well as learning from erudite scholars like Prof. Tosan Harriman, Chairman, Editorial Board of the Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper and Dr. Monday Michael Ashibogwu as resource persons.

In his welcome address, Publisher/CEO of the Gbaramatu Voice and host, Abai Jacob, expressed delight at the event.

“The day was prepared in honour of all of all those present as a thank you for all of your highly valued contributions to date , and as milestone to create a new vision that will guide us in to our future together”. He said .

“It is my earnest desire that what we will take away from today’s gathering will impact positively on the quality of our work for as long as we are in service and eventually, impact our region and our country, at large” He said.

In his opening remarks, the General Manager, Gbaramatu Voice, Enaibo Asieye said, the event was the first of its kind in the region.

“It is also an opportunity for us as media practitioners to tell our stories and discuss way forward for the region.